Sweetbay to close three stores in Manatee

January 17, 2013 

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Sweetbay Supermarket has announced plans to close 33 underperforming stores in Florida, three of them in Manatee County and one in Sarasota, the company announced Wednesday.

The Bradenton stores at 5201 33rd St. E., and 8750 State Road 70 E., as well as the stores at 3410 U.S. 301 in Ellenton and 501 N. Beneva Road, Sarasota, will close by mid-February.

Four other stores, in Palmetto and Bradenton are expected to stay open.

"While these decisions are difficult, especially given the impact on our associates, customers and communities, these actions will continue to enhance the performance of our overall store portfolio and further enable us to deliver profitable growth and accelerate shareholder value," said Nicole LeBeau, a spokeswoman for Sweetbay.

Also on the list are six stores in Tampa and 12 locations in Pinellas and Pasco counties.

After these closures are complete, Sweetbay will have 72 stores in Florida.

12 more buildings offered at Harbour Isle

PERICO ISLAND -- Phase two of the Mangrove Walk on Harbour Isle being developed by Minto Communities has started with the release of 12 buildings offering 36 island-style coach homes.

The first phase of Mangrove Walk consists of 32 buildings with 96 residences, community pool with cabanas and outdoor fire pit, kayak launch and six furnished model homes on Anna Maria Sound.

Only a handful of homes are still available in phase one, the company said. The homes start in the $370,000s, with six floor plans ranging from 1,621 to 2,960 square feet.

Beach Market now offers organic produce, herbs

MANATEE -- The Beach Market at Coquina Beach has added organic produce, herbs and garden accessories.

The market, which also offers fresh produce, arts and crafts, jewelry, local artists, scarves, apparel, pottery, purses, collectibles, health and beauty items will feature Larry Wilhelm performing Jan. 27. The Beach Market is at 1504 Gulf Drive S. and open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. every Sunday.

First Watch opens Atlanta restaurant

BRADENTON -- First Watch restaurant franchise is opening a restaurant in the Atlanta metro area this week in Johns Creek.

The 3,520-square-foot restaurant features an outdoor patio and an interior design that maximizes the natural light provided during the restaurants' daytime hours.

U.S. factory output rises for 2nd straight month

WASHINGTON -- U.S. factory production rose in December for the second straight month, buoyed by more output of autos, electronics and business equipment.

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that factory output increased 0.8 percent last month compared with November. That followed a 1.3 percent rise in November.

-- Herald staff, wire reports

Total industrial production increased 0.3 percent in December from November. That followed a 1 percent rise in November. Production slowed last month mostly because utility output dropped 4.8 percent, reflecting unseasonably warm weather.

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